@WSJ suggests having @BillClinton as honorary chancellor spared a for-profit: Daily Bullshit, September 7, 2016

For-Profit Colleges

The Wall Street Journal compares Laureate International Universities to ITT Technical, finds the former maybe a little worse (Vox’s Libby Nelson disagrees[1]), and strongly implies that the reason the latter was closed rather than the former is that Laureate “paid Bill Clinton $17.6 million to serve as its ‘honorary chancellor’” and “also donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. The company’s founder Doug Becker contributed $2,700 to Mrs. Clinton’s current presidential campaign.”[2]

It’s easy to see why the Journal thinks this situation stinks to high heaven as “[a] pack of regulators attack[ed] from all angles—i.e., the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, Securities and Exchange Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state Attorneys General—and tr[ied] to run their target out of business before it [could] raise a legal defense. None of their charges have been proven in court.”[3]

But it’s a little too easy to cherry-pick a case like Laureate. While there have been a number of recent high-profile closings of for-profit institutions[4] and the regulatory vultures have their sights aimed at the University of Phoenix,[5] other for-profits,[6] and at an accrediting agency widely used by for-profits,[7] the Journal overlooks that Laureate is among a number of similarly-situated institutions that have yet to close.[8]

Now, should all those other institutions close except Laureate,[9] then there may be a smoking gun. But we ain’t got it yet.

Libby Nelson, “Bill Clinton’s $18 million job as ‘honorary chancellor’ of a for-profit college chain, explained,” Vox, September 7, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/9/7/12817676/laureate-education-bill-clinton-university

Ashley A. Smith, “The End for ITT Tech,” Inside Higher Ed, September 7, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/07/itt-tech-shuts-down-all-campuses

Wall Street Journal, “The Clinton For-Profit College Standard,” September 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-clinton-for-profit-college-standard-1473204250


  1. [1]Libby Nelson, “Bill Clinton’s $18 million job as ‘honorary chancellor’ of a for-profit college chain, explained,” Vox, September 7, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/9/7/12817676/laureate-education-bill-clinton-university
  2. [2]Wall Street Journal, “The Clinton For-Profit College Standard,” September 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-clinton-for-profit-college-standard-1473204250
  3. [3]Wall Street Journal, “The Clinton For-Profit College Standard,” September 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-clinton-for-profit-college-standard-1473204250
  4. [4]Charles Huckabee, “Corinthian Colleges Inc. to Close Its Remaining Campuses,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Corinthian-Colleges-Inc-to/229685/; Michael Stratford, “Corinthian Closes for Good,” Inside Higher Ed, April 27, 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/27/corinthian-ends-operations-remaining-campuses-affecting-16000-students; Jill Tucker, “Corinthian, Heald colleges shut down abruptly,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 2015, http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Corinthian-Colleges-shuts-down-in-S-F-and-6225068.php
  5. [5]Samantha Allen, “Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames?” Daily Beast, July 31, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/31/death-of-a-diploma-mill-university-of-phoenix-going-down-in-flames.html; Eric Kelderman, “Why a Certain $21 Million Is Worth Much More to the U. of Phoenix,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Why-a-Certain-21-Million-Is/233720; Ben Kesling and Douglas Belkin, “University of Phoenix Barred From Recruiting on Military Bases,” Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/university-of-phoenix-barred-from-military-bases-1444369975; Ronald J. Hansen, “University of Phoenix investors OK sale to private backers,” Arizona Republic, May 9, 2016, http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/economy/2016/05/06/university-phoenix-investors-ok-sale-private-backers/83997578/; Molly Jackson, “Why is the University of Phoenix being sold?” Christian Science Monitor, February 8, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2016/0208/Why-is-the-University-of-Phoenix-being-sold; Andy Thomason, “U. of Phoenix Faces Another Federal Investigation,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 22, 2015, http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/giant-for-profit-u-of-phoenix-faces-another-federal-investigation/105960; Andy Thomason, “Apollo Education, U. of Phoenix’s Parent, Is Sold for $1.1 Billion,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 8, 2016, http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/for-profit-apollo-education-u-of-phoenixs-parent-is-sold-for-1-1-billion/108473
  6. [6]Goldie Blumenstyk, “Little for Students in ‘Historic’ Settlement of Education Management Case,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Little-for-Students-in/234229; Michael Stratford, “Getting Ready for Another Corinthian,” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/18/federal-loan-forgiveness-jumps-education-department-may-require-more-risky-colleges
  7. [7]Paul Fain, “Watchdog Barks — and Gets Slapped Down,” Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/04/controversial-accreditor-acics-tried-shut-down-profit-was-blocked-judge; Eric Kelderman, “Call to Shut Down a Controversial Accreditor Could Shake For-Profit Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Call-to-Shut-Down-a/236829; Jennifer C. Kerr and Collin Binkley, “Panel votes against accreditor of for-profit colleges,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/panel-votes-against-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges/384237391/
  8. [8]Michael Stratford, “Getting Ready for Another Corinthian,” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/18/federal-loan-forgiveness-jumps-education-department-may-require-more-risky-colleges
  9. [9]Michael Stratford, “Getting Ready for Another Corinthian,” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/18/federal-loan-forgiveness-jumps-education-department-may-require-more-risky-colleges

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